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Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
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Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX my nan owns a Pomeranian es 13

Customer Question

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX my nan owns a Pomeranian es 13 yrs old and abit deaf we think and we think he may be going blind he usually barks and carrys on like a normal healthy dog but tonight my nan is worried because he's hone all wierd he won't eat any of the food she has given him and she gives him wet canned food for dinner and biscuits after. He's walking around in circles and looking like he doesn't know what to do with himself
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 1 year ago.

Katrina,

 

It seems that Bundy is experiencing what is known as vestibular signs, meaning that he is having issues with spacial orientation an balance. Vestibular signs in dogs often manifests as walking in circles, often tilting their head in the same direction they tend to circle. Often, you will also see a horizontal jerking of the eyes called nystagmus...but mind you, not all cases of vestibular disease manifest with all the signs at once, but may exhibit only one or a few of the aforementioned signs. We call this condition in people, vertigo.

 

The vestibular system is made up of the fluid apparati in both inner ears, as well as the nerves that course from those regions to transmit the sensory information. The nerves specifically are called the vestibular nerves, and they end in a nerve bundle in the brain stem called the vestibular center.

 

The most common reason for vestibular disease in aging dogs is inflammation of the vestibular nerve, or inflammation of the vestibular center in the brain stem. The particular vestibular nerve and/or center involved is most typically on he same side that the dog will circle toward and/or tilt his head.

 

We do not really know what sets off vestibular inflammation and subsequent "vestibular syndrome" but the good news is that it typically resolves spontaneously within hours to as long as 14 days. While we are waiting for the issue to resolve, we will typically treat symptomatically with the anti-vertigo medication, meclizine (more on this below).

 

Another cause for vestibular signs in dogs is ear infections. Therefore, the first thing I would like you to do is check the ears for signs of infection: pain, foul smell, redness, discharge...anything like this, then I would get Bundy to a vet immediately.

 

If you do not find any signs of ear infection, then you can try treating with meclizine to see if you can get BUndy some relief while you are waiting for a presumed vestibular syndrome to resolve, which it should.

 

Meclizine can be found over the counter as Bonine. It comes in 25 mg tablets, of which you would give Bundy 1/2 tablet once daily by mouth. Bonine is used in people for relief from vertigo, but it is also commonly used to prevent motion sickness (for boats or airline travel).

 

Bear in mind that bonine will only provide symptomatic relief from the unstable world bundy may be experiencing right now, but it will not speed up his recovery...that will proceed on its own within hours to 14 days of the onset of signs.

 

If within a day or two, the meclizine is not giving Bundy enough relief to eat, drink, urinate, defecate outside, then he should be admitted to a veterinary hospital for supportive care, as these circumstances could lead to dehydration and further complications.

Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1430
Experience: Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
Roger L. Welton, DVM and 5 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I read the answer to my nan she told me to mention it seems like his having problems with his back or back legs I watched home try to sit before and it was like he couldn't sit properly he is also wondering around the house by himself looking lost could this be the under vestibular disease

Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the follow up. It can be challenging to determine if a dog is trully having trouble specifically with one or more limbs directly, or is it a matter of balance. In answer to your follow up question, could apparent back leg trouble be the result of vestibular disease? Yes, however, there is no way to know for sure without doing a hands on physical and neurological assessment of the dog.

 

I woudl still try the meclizine as I had directed, as there really is no down side...it is a very safe medication. ! take it all the time when I go on boats. The worst that can happen is that is does not provide him relief, in which case I would get him to the vet ASAP. If it does help and he seems better, willing to eat and drink, then it may buy you some time to enable a recovery from vestibular disease.

 

Again, best regards and luck to you, your nan, and Bundy. :-)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My nan would like to know if you can give dogs human constipation medication and Thankyou for your last answer have showed my nan and shell be getting some tomorrow

Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 1 year ago.
No, not a good idea to give human constipation medication. If she thinks bundy is backed up, she can feed him 1/4 teaspoon of canned pumpkin once daily in his food. That would be the safer way to get him going.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay Thankyou so much for all you helpful answer ill be visiting this site more often now
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 1 year ago.

Katrina,

 

Glad you had a good experience and thank you for the positive feedback. You nan is lucky to have you helping look after her dog.

 

:-)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Bundy has gotten worse e have figured out that he is in fact constipated but he started make yelping noises at 4 o clock this morning and hasn't stopped he let my nan know he needed to go to the toilet but failed to do a poo now he is under the house and he keeps yelping from under the house my nan doesn't know what to do and is thinking about getting him put down since he's 13 yrs old :'(

Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 1 year ago.

Primary constipation in dogs is not really common. If he is yowling in pain as he is trying to go, it could be that it may hurt him to posture to defecate, as woudl be the case with a back injury.

 

A back injury may be treatable with anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer, so i do not know if I would jump to having the dog put down just yet. I would have him looked at to see if there may be a simple solution to his issue.

 

Now that you are mentioning this, I am thinking the the back leg problem may be significant afterall, as rear limb weakness, even paralysis can result from spinal disk injuries. Please reveiew this following article I wrote on spinal disk injuries in dogs and see if it fits Bundy:

 

http://web-dvm.net/intervertebraldiscdisease.html

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Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM
Dog Specialist
1430 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author